View Full Version : Front Sight removal tips for AR

December 21, 2010, 03:08 PM
Im beginning a free float handguard project and I'm to the removing the taper pins part. I know most people have the Brownells block but I don't really want to spend $40 to pop out two pins. I may not use it again. Not sure. Anyone have any tips for removing the taper pins? My best idea so far is to have two pieces of wood covered with a towel and to put the sight in between the two blocks. Thanks in advance.

December 21, 2010, 03:17 PM
I had to drill mine out. I took a 3/32" bit and put it in a press and drill the pins out.
Didn't really matter because I was replacing the gas block and barrel.

December 21, 2010, 03:36 PM
It isn't easy, but the first thing to do is make sure you're going in the right direction- for taper pin removal, you hammer on the small end (yeah, it's a basic thing, but many a person has forgotten and wasted much time just hammering them in tighter).

You want to keep the thing from moving around. The blocks are nice for that, but at the very least you need to keep the barrel from moving while you hammer. Then get a punch and a big hammer and wail on it like it insulted your mother.

December 21, 2010, 03:49 PM
It really depends on your specific make of upper. Some guys have no problems at all getting the pins out.... others have a nightmare. Definitely drift them the right direction, as stated, if they're taper pins.

December 21, 2010, 04:12 PM
Mine are backwards from the factory. Apparently Stag does that. I'm hoping this isn't a hard task. Should be fun though.

December 21, 2010, 04:29 PM
Some pins are hard from heat treatment and are easy to get out with a couple firm whacks with a punch and hammer.

Others are soft and peen badly when you whack them. Those are the ones I usually have to drill out.

December 21, 2010, 08:16 PM
So I've destroyed two punchs. So much for the heat treated, high carbon steel. The tips of the punches just chipped off. The pins haven't even budged. Any new tips?

December 21, 2010, 08:27 PM
Do you have or know someone with a press if not just drill them out.

December 21, 2010, 08:39 PM
No press and I'm not too confident on drilling them out. I'd like to do this project myself but I may end up taking it to the smith to get these pins out. They're a bear. Probably get charged about $50 just to get the damn pins out.

December 21, 2010, 09:08 PM
A good coupling makes a huge difference. If your FSB is not solidly planted much of the energy you put into the hammer blows will be dissipated.

I do use a Brownells block, on the concrete floor of my garage. It also helps to have a punch with a concave end and a heavy sledge hammer. Letting a penetrating oil such as Kroil or PB Blaster soak in a bit helps as well.

December 21, 2010, 09:19 PM
I am soaking them with some break free. I'll give it another go tonight but if I have to end up getting the brownells block it probably will take forever to arrive. Doubt my local store has any kind of block for this. Thanks for the kind advice.

December 22, 2010, 12:28 AM
Finally got them out. Man those suckers are tough. Thanks again for the help

Another quick question: In some videos they remove the gas tube pin before removing the front sight base. Others don't seem to do that. I don't want to remove the gas tube from the base so I wouldn't think I'd need to but just checking here first. Thanks

December 22, 2010, 02:16 AM
You'll be fine not removing it. Just don't bend it when you are removing the front sight post from the barrel.

December 22, 2010, 11:52 AM
The gas tube is easy to remove and reinstall, and it's usually removed just to protect it- it's easy to ding up. While it's no trouble to change out, why break a $10 part when it takes all of 30 seconds to remove?

But if you're careful, you won't hurt anything.